Title ID 8432Collection ID1195
TitleKing George the Fifth’s Durbar Held to Proclaim Him Emperor of India
CollectionEarly Films
ThemeCommemoration Early film in the South East
KeywordsAnimals Armed Forces Celebrations Ceremonies Everyday Life Coronations Transport Travel Uniforms National Dress Performing Arts Royalty
NationalIndia Asia
ProductionWilliam George Barker
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration18 min. 51 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Two films of George V's Coronation Durbar in Dehli, 1911.


"King George the Fifth's Durbar Held to Proclaim Him Emperor of India"

Following the main title, an intertitle reads "This great function took place outside Delhi and in importance and magnificence exceeded all such events known in history. "The Viceroy arrives." The Viceroy's carriage is seen, flanked by soldiers. Seated crowds are seen behind. "Now the King and Queen". The Kind and Queen pass in a further carriage, accompanied by soldiers on horseback. The procession is seen from an elevated position. The King's carriage arrives at a canopied dais, received by the Viceroy. Ranks of Indian soldiers process past, spectators are seen behind. They move to another platform above. "Long live the Emperor and Empress". The Royal party descend and leave. "Scenes in the streets of the new capital of India". Greetings from Dehli's staple industry. Further footage from the streets of Dehli is seen, which closes the section.

"King Emperor and Queen Empress hold a Durbar in Dehli" "The Durbar Procession"

A film of the same event, produced by Barker Motion Photography Ltd. Soldiers on horseback process, flanked by rows of soldiers by the road. Tents can be seen behind. The Viceroy is seen in the carriage. Followed by further troops and the King and Queen. The procession is seen from an elevated position. King and Queen ascend to a platform to be received by the Viceroy. "The Ruling Chiefs Paying Homage." "H.H. The Nizam of Hyderabad" arrives and bows to the King and Queen, now seated on the platform. "H.H. The Gaekwar of Baroda" too ascends the steps to bow to the Royal party. Panning shot of ranks of soldiers and seated crowds and platform . "Departure of the Majesties." follows, as the King and Queen leave in their carriage. Crowds are seen by the road, arching their heads to get a look. "The Garden Party and People's Fete" follows. Panning shot of tents, seated groups, fairground. Closer shots of Indian women in traditional dress, western men with canes. Indian men wearing turbans and suits. Crowds ascend stairs. "Their Imperial Majesties Present Themselves to the Crowds." From an interior position, the King and Queen are seen at a balcony, facing crowds and ranks of soldiers. Dancing and sword performance. King and Queen leave the balcony. Film closes with photographs of King and Queen followed by "Trade Mark, Barker" card.

Contextual information

Wiliam George Barker (b. 1867) founded the Autoscope Company in 1901, specializing in topical films. He replaced Charles Urban as the director of Warwick Trading Company in 1906,leaving to set up his own company in 1909, Barker Motion Photography Ltd, to continue making topical films. He began feature production in 1911, at the forefront of a revival in the British film industry.

The Delhi Durbar was held in 1877, 1903 and 1911, to mark the coronation of the King and Queen at mass assemblies at Coronation Park, Delhi. The only Delhi Durbar attended by George V was in 1911. The world's press covered the event and film footage was incredibly popular, at cinemas in India and at home.

A kinemacolour two-and-a-half hour film titled With Our King and Queen Through India first screened in February 1912, hailed as Charles Urban's greatest achievement.

Related titles

Related resources


Low, Rachael. The History of the British Film 1906-1914. London: Allen and Unwin

Date: 1949


BFI Screenonline: Will Barker (1867 - 1951)